The 21st century is the age of speed: fast travel, fast communication, technology getting more and more mobile and of-course, faster. But even now, in the age of speed, some people still suffer from lack of a decent Internet connection. Although Internet speed has significantly improved over the last few years, some of us still suffer with slow connections and browsing the web can prove to be a daunting task. Although one cannot force the ISP to provide faster internet, there are some solutions to making the most of your existing Internet connection.
Tips & Tricks to speed up your Internet
1. Keep a clean and secured computer
Clean your hard drive as often as you can. Try using an anti-virus software, but a very resource demanding one (check our list of the best free antivirus programs and paid anti-virus programs), look for a anti adware/spyware program. These bugs can drastically lower your Internet speed, so scan your computer regularly, also, try using a simple firewall, but keep in mind, heavy firewalls (such as Zone Alarm) require a heavy duty Internet connection, so if you don’t want to make it worse, look towards a firewall that is not resource hungry.
Also,another important thing you can do to make your browser faster, is to clear your history and other useless data your browser stores on your computer (except temporary internet files for sites you usually access), clear your cache and also make it bigger. A bigger cache for your browser means more information stored on your computer and faster load time for your regularly accessed web sites. This is a great way to speed up your Internet connection.
2. Upgrade your computer
If you have an old computer, with a low-end processor and little memory, then your computer might be the problem, not your internet connection. Try adding some more RAM and/or a more powerful CPU. If these are old and slow, they load web-pages slowly and even more slowly if they have complex graphics.
Another upgrade to keep your mind on is your notwork card (LAN card) or Modem Card. These are also physical components, in which you plug in your Internet cables (standard telephone cable or RJ45 connectors). These cars have a maximum connection speed (check the model or the manual to find out how much). Some older models are 10/100 Mbps, and these models are slow, and if you have a faster connection, they will limit the speed to their maximum (it’s funny, just today I had a course at school about this). You should try to get a 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN card for better connections.
3. Update your software
It’s important to keep your computer up to date and install the latest updates for all your software (including the OS). Updates normally include bug fixes and your programs should load and run faster, so keep an eye out for updates. But remember, never keep open programs you do not necessary need. Always have installed the latest version of your browser and OS, but also for flash player, shockwave and java.
4. Do not use slow programs
Try to get a fast web browser, this is the key for web surfing. Traditionally, Internet Explorer is considered to be very slow, specially the older versions. It also consumes more resources. Try using something like Opera, Firefox or Chrome (the fastest in my opinion). And another thing, do not get too many extensions, this advice is for any browser. Try to use only the necessary add-ons or extensions, because, if you pack your browser with them they will reduce your internet speed and your browser’s overall performance.
Resource hungry anti-virus and firewalls also have an impact on your computer and browser performance, so do not aim for something your computer can’t handle. Try to get some easy to use and resource friendly programs.
5. Keep an eye out for bandwidth consumption
Firewalls, anti-viruses, OS’s and other programs that use an internet connection eat up bandwidth, so try to set them to do only manual updates and close all unnecessary ones, this will free your bandwidth a great deal and you will see the difference. But remember to update them often, if they are out of date, than your performance will drop.
On the other hand, if you have a wireless network, protect it with a strong password. If other people connect to your wireless network, then your speed will definitely drop.
6. Try changing your DNS servers
It is wise to try changing the DNS configuration of your internet connection whenever you see a sudden drop in the internet speed. Here is a list of free and fast DNS servers which should be handy. Well worth giving this a try. Alternatively, try flushing DNS cache which can resolve the slow internet speed issues.
Extensions & Boosters
Extensions and programs that claim to offer you faster browsing are all over the Internet. The vast majority of them do not work, they don’t do anything to speed up your internet connection. But there are a few extensions and boosters that offer some boost in your browsing speed, although not quite noticeable.
However, here are the ones who have some impact on your Internet speed:
Webroot is a great tool for getting rid of adware and spyware from your computer. It scans your computer with great precision and it consumes next to no resources. I recommend this tool in parallel with NOD 32. Both of these are really resource light and and do an excellent job keeping your computer clean and fast.
2. Opera Turbo
One of the best internet boosters I have ever seen, and the best part about it is that Opera has this tool integrated in their browser. This tool speeds up your internet browser’s loading time for websites quite a lot. If there was ever a real tool for internet speed-up, Opera Turbo is that.
An extension developed for speed. FastestWeb is exactly that. It makes life easier for you by working in the background of your browser and making it surf the internet faster. Although this is not magic potion making your browser lightning fast, it does make it a little more faster and you should notice the difference. This extension is available for both Chrome (download link) of on Firefox (download link).
- Do not open new windows when clicking on a link, just open them in new tabs in the same window. This will conserve resources and make your overall browsing faster.
- Do not overcrowd your browser, try to keep enabled only the extensions you need and do not open lots of tabs either. They consume memory and therefore, your browser will work harder.
- Disable flash, there are lots of flash blockers available on the web store, and they do a really good job. Flash files are usually very big, so the use of one of these tools will definitely change your browsing speed.
- Learn keyboard shortcuts for your browser, each of them have their own shortcuts, but it saves you lots of time when browsing.
If you have a slow connection or a dial-up connection, contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and think of upgrading your connection to a better one. If there is no juice left in bandwidth, then you cannot squeeze more out of it.